Experienced Portland Railroad & Train Accident Lawyer

Portland Railroad & Train Accident Attorney

Find out why we have some of the best Portland railroad & train accident attorneys

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Railroad or Train Accident in Portland, Oregon?​

Goldberg & Loren are the leading railroad and train accident lawyers in the area, dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. With years of experience and a track record of successful cases, we have the knowledge and expertise to fight for your rights.

Our team is committed to helping you seek justice and recover the compensation you need for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact Goldberg & Loren today for a free consultation, and let us fight for your rights. Don’t wait; time is of the essence in these cases.

What Is a Railroad Accident Lawyer?

The primary goal of a railroad and train accident lawyer is to help victims seek justice and obtain compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and other losses resulting from the accident.

In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit may need to be filed in order to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Our train accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and working with accident reconstruction experts if necessary.​

Due to the possible complexity of railroad accidents and the extensive nature of the investigation process, a railroad accident investigation often requires 12 to 24 months to complete. [1]

What Is a Railroad Accident Lawyer?

We will assess the liability of all parties involved, including the railroad company, train operator, manufacturer of defective equipment, and even government agencies responsible for safety inspections.

Our team will negotiate with insurance companies and other liable parties on behalf of our clients. We will fight to ensure that victims receive fair and just compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.

In 2021, there were 893 deaths on railroads, which is a 20% increase from the revised total of 744 deaths in 2020. This is the highest number of deaths since 2007.

Nonfatal injuries totaled 5,781, which is a 4% increase from the revised total of 5,544 injuries in 2020. From 2020 to 2021, fatalities at highway-rail crossings increased by 21%, and fatalities involving other types of incidents increased by 20%.

Out of the latter, 617 deaths (94%) were attributed to trespassers. Eleven employees were killed while on duty, which is the same as the 2020 death toll. There were six train passenger deaths, an increase from two deaths in 2020. [2]

Types of Rail-Related Accidents

Derailment

Train derailments are one of the most frequent types of rail-related accidents that can occur. When a train derails, it can result in catastrophic consequences, causing injuries, fatalities, and significant property damage. The impacts of a derailment can be far-reaching and can have long-lasting effects on the lives of those involved.

There are several factors that can contribute to train derailments, including faulty tracks, excessive speed, improper maintenance, or even collisions. When the tracks are not properly maintained or repaired, they can become unstable and increase the risk of derailment. Similarly, if a train is traveling at an excessive speed, it can place undue stress on the tracks, making them more susceptible to failure.

Inadequate maintenance of trains can also lead to derailments. Faulty brakes, malfunctioning safety devices, inadequate lighting, or defective railcars can all play a role in causing a train to derail. When these essential safety features are compromised, the risk of a catastrophic accident significantly increases.

In addition to the physical injuries that passengers may sustain, there can also be significant property damage. Buildings, infrastructure, and surrounding areas can be destroyed or heavily damaged when a train derails. The financial and emotional toll that these accidents can have on the victims and their families is immeasurable.

There were at least 1,164 train derailments across the country last year, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration. That means the country is averaging roughly three derailments per day. [3]

Collision Between Trains

When two trains collide, the consequences can be catastrophic. They can happen on a variety of rail systems, including passenger trains, commuter trains, and freight trains.

The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can result in devastating impacts, causing significant property damage and severe injuries to passengers, crew members, and individuals in the vicinity of the accident.

Collision with a Vehicle at a Railroad Crossing

Determining liability in a collision between a vehicle and a train at a railroad crossing can be a complex matter. Various factors may contribute to the accident, such as the failure of warning systems, the negligence of the driver or train operator, inadequate maintenance of the crossing, or even flawed design.

One key aspect of such cases is establishing the negligence of the railroad company or train operator. They have a duty to ensure the safety of their passengers and those around them.

If their failure to maintain the crossing or properly communicate with drivers contributed to the accident, they could be held liable. 

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA – part of the U.S. Department of Transportation), there were 2,194 vehicle-train collisions in 2022. There were 274 fatalities and 803 injuries. [4] 

Collision with a Vehicle at a Railroad Crossing

Worker Injury or Death on the Job Site

Railroad workers face numerous hazards in their daily work activities, including heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and challenging working conditions. In the event of an accident, whether it be a train derailment, a collision between rail cars, or any other related incident, the consequences can be devastating.

In cases of worker injury or death on the job site, it is essential to determine liability. Railroad companies have a duty to ensure the safety of their workers, and they must adhere to strict safety regulations.

However, factors such as unreasonable work quotas, lack of safety inspections, or inadequate training can contribute to accidents and injuries.

Defective Equipment or Maintenance Issues Causing an Accident

Defective equipment can include faulty brakes, defective signaling systems, malfunctioning tracks, or faulty train components. If any of these fail, the consequences can be disastrous. 

Due to the constant use and wear and tear, trains require regular inspections and maintenance to keep them in optimal condition.

Failure to address maintenance issues, such as worn-out tracks or outdated equipment, can increase the risk of accidents.

Railroad companies have a responsibility to ensure the proper functioning of their equipment and conduct regular maintenance checks. When they fail to do so, they can be held accountable for any resulting accidents and injuries. 

Defective Equipment or Maintenance Issues Causing an Accident

Inadequate Safety Practices Resulting in an Accident

Inadequate safety practices can manifest in various ways within the railroad industry. One common issue is the lack of safety inspections and proper maintenance of trains and equipment. When regular inspections and maintenance checks are not conducted, small issues can go unnoticed and eventually lead to major accidents.

When workers are subjected to excessive pressure to meet tight deadlines or quotas, they may feel compelled to take shortcuts or overlook important safety procedures. This can include skipping necessary inspections or rushing through maintenance tasks, increasing the risk of accidents.

In addition to these factors, the failure to implement and utilize advanced safety technology, such as positive train control (PTC), can also contribute to accidents.

PTC is a system designed to prevent train collisions and derailments, but its implementation and adoption have been slow in some areas. This lack of modern safety measures puts both workers and passengers at unnecessary risk.

Ever since the enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), the U.S. freight rail industry has been working on implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on over 60,000 miles of the rail network. [5]

Common Parties Involved in Rail-Related Cases

Rail-related cases involve a wide range of parties, each playing an important role in ensuring safety and accountability within the railroad industry. 

Common Parties Involved in Rail-Related Cases

Adjacent Track Owners Who May Share Liability for the Incident

When it comes to train accidents, the focus is often on the railroad companies themselves, such as Union Pacific or Amtrak. However, there are instances where adjacent track owners may also share liability for the incident. Adjacent track owners are those who own tracks that are located near or next to the tracks where the accident occurred.

Adjacent track owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety and integrity of their tracks, just like any other railroad company. If their negligence or failure to meet safety standards contributed to the accident, they could be held liable for the damages and injuries that resulted.

For example, if a train derails due to a defective track owned by an adjacent track owner, the victims of the accident may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against both the railroad company and the adjacent track owner. 

What is the Statute of Limitation for a Railroad Accident?

The statute of limitations refers to the deadline within which you must file a lawsuit for your injuries and damages resulting from the accident. In the state of Oregon, the statute of limitations for a railroad accident claim is typically two years from the date of the accident.

The statute of limitations can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. There may be exceptions or shorter timeframes if the accident involves a government entity or if the claim is being filed on behalf of a minor.

Consult with an experienced railroad accident lawyer at Goldberg & Loren to understand the specific statute of limitations that apply to your case.

If you miss the deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.

Have you or someone you know been injured in a railroad or train accident in Portland, Oregon?

Goldberg & Loren are experienced railroad and train accident lawyers who can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

If you have suffered injuries in a railroad or train accident, you should not have to bear the financial burden alone.

Let our team of dedicated attorneys handle your case and guide you through the legal process. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Contact Goldberg & Loren today for a free consultation.

Source

[1] Rail Accident. (n.d.). Rail Accident. https://www.ntsb.gov/tda/family/Pages/tda-rail.aspx

[2] Railroad Deaths and Injuries – Injury Facts. (n.d.). Injury Facts. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/home-and-community/safety-topics/railroad-deaths-and-injuries/

[3] Hernandez, J. (2023, March 9). There are about 3 U.S. train derailments per day. They aren’t usually major disasters. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2023/03/09/1161921856/there-are-about-3-u-s-train-derailments-per-day-they-arent-usually-major-disaste

[4] Collisions & Casualties by Year | Operation Lifesaver. (n.d.). Collisions & Casualties by Year | Operation Lifesaver. https://oli.org/track-statistics/collisions-casualties-year

[5] Rail accidents in the U.S. 2021 | Statista. (n.d.). Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/204569/rail-accidents-in-the-us/

Goldberg & Loren Personal Injury Attorneys

6500 S Macadam Ave #300,
Portland, OR 97239
(971) 339-8080

George Goldberg

Have you or a loved one been injured in a train accident or are you suffering from the effects of train derailment? Call us now to find out if you have a personal injury case.

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